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Re: [modernsciencefiction2] This Week's Short Fiction: "Overtime" by Charles Stross

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  • William C. Garthright
    So, did I scare everybody off by telling you this was fantasy, rather than science fiction? It s Lovecraftian fantasy, if that matters. I don t think that
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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      So, did I scare everybody off by telling you this was fantasy, rather
      than science fiction? It's Lovecraftian fantasy, if that matters. I
      don't think that Cthulhu is specifically mentioned by name, but it's
      very similar.

      It's also a Christmas tale, if that helps. Maybe it will get you in the
      holiday spirit! After all, it's September, so the Christmas decorations
      should be going up soon. :-)

      Here's the link again:

      http://www.tor.com/stories/2009/12/overtime

      Bill

      http://garthright.blogspot.com/

      --
      America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies
      the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human
      happiness, and it has prospered. - Louis D. Brandeis
    • James Wallace Harris (jharris)
      No, I m not scared off, I just haven t had time to read it. I did finish The Island and have been trying to find time to write about it. I m at work and
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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        No, I'm not scared off, I just haven't had time to read it. I did finish "The Island" and have been trying to find time to write about it. I'm at work and can't now, but it was a very impressive story. I read parts of it twice. It's in the Dozois and Hartwell 2010 collections.

        Jim


        -----Original Message-----
        From: modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William C. Garthright
        Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 11:40 AM
        To: modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [modernsciencefiction2] This Week's Short Fiction: "Overtime" by Charles Stross

        So, did I scare everybody off by telling you this was fantasy, rather than science fiction? It's Lovecraftian fantasy, if that matters. I don't think that Cthulhu is specifically mentioned by name, but it's very similar.

        It's also a Christmas tale, if that helps. Maybe it will get you in the holiday spirit! After all, it's September, so the Christmas decorations should be going up soon. :-)

        Here's the link again:

        http://www.tor.com/stories/2009/12/overtime

        Bill

        http://garthright.blogspot.com/

        --
        America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered. - Louis D. Brandeis


        ------------------------------------

        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • graysh07
        You scared me a little bit, but I started to read it yesterday and enjoyed it. I think on the Science Fiction to Fantasy spectrum it hasn t been all that far
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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          You scared me a little bit, but I started to read it yesterday and enjoyed it.

          I think on the Science Fiction to Fantasy spectrum it hasn't been all that far into fantasy yet. So far it seems to be in the vein of an episode of Doctor Who.

          John

          --- In modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com, "William C. Garthright" <billg@...> wrote:
          >
          > So, did I scare everybody off by telling you this was fantasy, rather
          > than science fiction? It's Lovecraftian fantasy, if that matters. I
          > don't think that Cthulhu is specifically mentioned by name, but it's
          > very similar.
          >
          > It's also a Christmas tale, if that helps. Maybe it will get you in the
          > holiday spirit! After all, it's September, so the Christmas decorations
          > should be going up soon. :-)
          >
          > Here's the link again:
          >
          > http://www.tor.com/stories/2009/12/overtime
          >
          > Bill
          >
          > http://garthright.blogspot.com/
          >
          > --
          > America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies
          > the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human
          > happiness, and it has prospered. - Louis D. Brandeis
          >
        • William C. Garthright
          ... Reading this story really makes me want to get THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES, the first in a series with this same character and setting. Well, I ve heard a lot of
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 2, 2010
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            > You scared me a little bit, but I started to read it yesterday and enjoyed it.
            >
            > I think on the Science Fiction to Fantasy spectrum it hasn't been all that far into fantasy yet. So far it seems to be in the vein of an episode of Doctor Who.


            Reading this story really makes me want to get THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES,
            the first in a series with this same character and setting. Well, I've
            heard a lot of people recommend it (including Chris at the
            ClassicScienceFiction group).

            As I noted before, this is why I wanted to read short fiction in the
            first place, so I could discover new authors (and, especially, books
            that were part of the same series as a story I enjoyed). That's how I
            discovered Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series, and she's now my
            favorite author.

            Oddly enough, I didn't think this story was especially well-written. Oh,
            I enjoyed it, but it seemed a little drawn out. And I wasn't crazy about
            the constant flashbacks to earlier events. But it was still lots of fun
            (literally - I think I particularly enjoyed the humor). And I guess the
            whole idea just appeals to me.

            BTW, I see that Charles Stross has LOTS of fiction freely available
            online, 41 different stories at this site:

            http://freesfonline.de/authors/Charles_Stross.html

            And at least some of them are apparently part of this same series (I
            haven't actually read any of them yet). For example, there's "The
            Concrete Jungle," which won the Hugo Award for best novella in 2005:

            http://www.goldengryphon.com/Stross-Concrete.html

            And there's "Down on the Farm" here:

            http://www.tor.com/stories/2008/07/down-on-the-farm

            I don't know how many of the others are part of this Bob Howard, "The
            Laundry," series. But apparently, "A Colder War" also mixes
            Lovecraftian horror with spying, although it's not supposed to be in the
            same universe as the other stories.

            http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm

            It's been raining, so I can't work in the yard. If I can just pull
            myself away from Dwarf Fortress (I'm trying to create a passage that
            will open trapdoors and drop goblins ten stories to the ground - onto
            sharp spears, if I really think that's necessary - when they try to get
            inside), I might get some of these read. :-)

            Bill

            http://garthright.blogspot.com/

            --
            I no more believe in the Biblical God than I believe in Zeus, Isis, Thor
            and the thousands of other dead gods that lie buried in the mass grave
            we call 'mythology'. I doubt them all equally and for the same reason:
            lack of evidence. - Sam Harris
          • graysh07
            This is just an aside Jim asked me to compare the PDF file and the Epub file of the story on my Nook. The Epub file come in great. The title page and the
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 2, 2010
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              This is just an aside Jim asked me to compare the PDF file and the Epub file of the story on my Nook.

              The Epub file come in great. The title page and the illustration of the monster each take up a full page of the Nook on it's default medium font size.

              An example of a page of text on the e-pub is from the start of the story "All bureaucracies..." to "I'd also be working three grades"

              The text flowed great from page to page, no problems or areas with white space at all.

              The pdf on the other hand came into the nook just a little weird. The default medium font size was super small, for example the title page and the illustration each took up only half a page. But I changed it to Large font size and it adjusted to around 10 point size. (I also had the option of 2 even larger sizes if I'd needed it).

              Because it's a pdf file it does this thing where they'll be a full nook page of text and then they'll be a nook page with only half a page of text because it's going off of the original paper page of text. In other words page 2 of the story is on one and a half pages of nook text, but there is no way for the Nook to get the start of page three to overlap on the screen with the end of page 2. Epub files don't have that problem.

              Jim, is that what you wanted to know?

              John




              --- In modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com, "William C. Garthright" <billg@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > > You scared me a little bit, but I started to read it yesterday and enjoyed it.
              > >
              > > I think on the Science Fiction to Fantasy spectrum it hasn't been all that far into fantasy yet. So far it seems to be in the vein of an episode of Doctor Who.
              >
              >
              > Reading this story really makes me want to get THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES,
              > the first in a series with this same character and setting. Well, I've
              > heard a lot of people recommend it (including Chris at the
              > ClassicScienceFiction group).
              >
              > As I noted before, this is why I wanted to read short fiction in the
              > first place, so I could discover new authors (and, especially, books
              > that were part of the same series as a story I enjoyed). That's how I
              > discovered Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series, and she's now my
              > favorite author.
              >
              > Oddly enough, I didn't think this story was especially well-written. Oh,
              > I enjoyed it, but it seemed a little drawn out. And I wasn't crazy about
              > the constant flashbacks to earlier events. But it was still lots of fun
              > (literally - I think I particularly enjoyed the humor). And I guess the
              > whole idea just appeals to me.
              >
              > BTW, I see that Charles Stross has LOTS of fiction freely available
              > online, 41 different stories at this site:
              >
              > http://freesfonline.de/authors/Charles_Stross.html
              >
              > And at least some of them are apparently part of this same series (I
              > haven't actually read any of them yet). For example, there's "The
              > Concrete Jungle," which won the Hugo Award for best novella in 2005:
              >
              > http://www.goldengryphon.com/Stross-Concrete.html
              >
              > And there's "Down on the Farm" here:
              >
              > http://www.tor.com/stories/2008/07/down-on-the-farm
              >
              > I don't know how many of the others are part of this Bob Howard, "The
              > Laundry," series. But apparently, "A Colder War" also mixes
              > Lovecraftian horror with spying, although it's not supposed to be in the
              > same universe as the other stories.
              >
              > http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm
              >
              > It's been raining, so I can't work in the yard. If I can just pull
              > myself away from Dwarf Fortress (I'm trying to create a passage that
              > will open trapdoors and drop goblins ten stories to the ground - onto
              > sharp spears, if I really think that's necessary - when they try to get
              > inside), I might get some of these read. :-)
              >
              > Bill
              >
              > http://garthright.blogspot.com/
              >
              > --
              > I no more believe in the Biblical God than I believe in Zeus, Isis, Thor
              > and the thousands of other dead gods that lie buried in the mass grave
              > we call 'mythology'. I doubt them all equally and for the same reason:
              > lack of evidence. - Sam Harris
              >
            • William C. Garthright
              Well, this is it for me. Someone else picks our short fiction for September, right? This last story didn t seem to go over very well. I think that John and I
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 5, 2010
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                Well, this is it for me. Someone else picks our short fiction for
                September, right?

                This last story didn't seem to go over very well. I think that John and
                I are the only ones who read it, and I'm not sure that he even finished
                it. Well, no problem. Sometimes, we all get busy.

                I did like it. And I read his 2004 Hugo Award-winning novella, "The
                Concrete Jungle," too. Lots of fun. Fantasy, of course, but with a
                science fiction flavor. (In the later story, modern technology is used
                in a scary way.) And I guess I just like the Lovecraftian stuff.

                In general, I really liked the novelette nominees. I was a lot more
                impressed with them than with the short stories. And I'm enjoying our
                short fiction reads. I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something
                when I read them. :-)

                Bill

                http://garthright.blogspot.com/

                --
                The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is. - Bill
                Moyers
              • James Wallace Harris (jharris)
                I m sorry I haven t been participating as much. I m getting to the stories very late. I want to do better. I bought the dang Kindle to read the short
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 5, 2010
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                  I'm sorry I haven't been participating as much. I'm getting to the stories very late. I want to do better. I bought the dang Kindle to read the short stories, but I keep getting side-track with other reading. I've been spending all my reading time on the giant Heinlein biography.

                  I have an alternative idea for picking the short stories. Would people be willing to buy the annual Dozois Best of SF anthology and read a story a week from it. Then no one would have the burden of picking the story. Here's the Table of Contents to the latest volume.

                  http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2009/12/toc-the-years-best-science-fiction-27-edited-by-gardner-dozois/

                  I buy them every year, but for people who don't like to buy books for the club, it could be a problem. It's $9.99 for ebook, $15 from Amazon, and $22 at bookstores.

                  I will read "Overtime" today. I just noticed Tor offers 4 ebook formats for the download, so John and I can put it on our ebooks. That's cool.

                  If people don't want to do the Dozois collection, I can take a turn picking the short fiction for a while.

                  Have we read "Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction" by Jo Walton? It's from the Dozois collection.

                  http://www.tor.com/index.php?view=story&id=13319

                  Jim

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William C. Garthright
                  Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 8:01 AM
                  To: modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [modernsciencefiction2] Re: This Week's Short Fiction: "Overtime" by Charles Stross

                  Well, this is it for me. Someone else picks our short fiction for September, right?

                  This last story didn't seem to go over very well. I think that John and I are the only ones who read it, and I'm not sure that he even finished it. Well, no problem. Sometimes, we all get busy.

                  I did like it. And I read his 2004 Hugo Award-winning novella, "The Concrete Jungle," too. Lots of fun. Fantasy, of course, but with a science fiction flavor. (In the later story, modern technology is used in a scary way.) And I guess I just like the Lovecraftian stuff.

                  In general, I really liked the novelette nominees. I was a lot more impressed with them than with the short stories. And I'm enjoying our short fiction reads. I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something when I read them. :-)

                  Bill

                  http://garthright.blogspot.com/

                  --
                  The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is. - Bill Moyers


                  ------------------------------------

                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • William C. Garthright
                  ... Personally, I like the way we re doing it now. It s free and it s easy (it s not actually a burden to pick the stories, you know). I ve got enough books,
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 5, 2010
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                    > I have an alternative idea for picking the short stories. Would people be willing to buy the annual Dozois Best of SF anthology and read a story a week from it. Then no one would have the burden of picking the story.


                    Personally, I like the way we're doing it now. It's free and it's easy
                    (it's not actually a "burden" to pick the stories, you know).

                    I've got enough books, especially short story collections, that I don't
                    want to spend $15 on another one. And frankly, I've bought those "years
                    best science fiction" collections by Gardner Dozois before and been
                    terribly disappointed.

                    Is there a problem with the way we're doing this now?


                    > If people don't want to do the Dozois collection, I can take a turn picking the short fiction for a while.


                    John has a list of who's supposed to pick the stories each month,
                    already made out for the next year. He posted it at the beginning of
                    March. But I don't know if everyone will be interested in participating.

                    Let's see... September was supposed to be Susan M.'s turn, but I don't
                    think I've seen her post anything before. Susan, are you still here? Are
                    you planning to pick the stories this month?

                    Bill

                    http://garthright.blogspot.com/

                    --
                    The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid
                    moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the
                    possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing. -
                    Gamal Abdel Nasser
                  • graysh07
                    Bill, I did finish the story, but I haven t had time to post any comments about it yet. I liked the story and like you said it made me want to read more in
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 5, 2010
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                      Bill, I did finish the story, but I haven't had time to post any comments about it yet. I liked the story and like you said it made me want to read more in that series.

                      I wondered how the protagonist ended up in the hospital, I guessed that was probably a result of the climax of the previous story.

                      John

                      --- In modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com, "William C. Garthright" <billg@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Well, this is it for me. Someone else picks our short fiction for
                      > September, right?
                      >
                      > This last story didn't seem to go over very well. I think that John and
                      > I are the only ones who read it, and I'm not sure that he even finished
                      > it. Well, no problem. Sometimes, we all get busy.
                      >
                      > I did like it. And I read his 2004 Hugo Award-winning novella, "The
                      > Concrete Jungle," too. Lots of fun. Fantasy, of course, but with a
                      > science fiction flavor. (In the later story, modern technology is used
                      > in a scary way.) And I guess I just like the Lovecraftian stuff.
                      >
                      > In general, I really liked the novelette nominees. I was a lot more
                      > impressed with them than with the short stories. And I'm enjoying our
                      > short fiction reads. I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something
                      > when I read them. :-)
                      >
                      > Bill
                      >
                      > http://garthright.blogspot.com/
                      >
                      > --
                      > The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is. - Bill
                      > Moyers
                      >
                    • graysh07
                      About Short story picking, I like the way we ve been doing it, I think it s working. I m sorry Jim, but if people aren t reading when it s free, I just don t
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 5, 2010
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                        About Short story picking, I like the way we've been doing it, I think it's working. I'm sorry Jim, but if people aren't reading when it's free, I just don't see how we'll get more people if it's $15 to get started.

                        A while back I emailed the 6 or 8 of us that post here pretty regularly and asked who wanted some more months to choose the short fiction. (Bill, I think you weren't on the email because you've had the last two months.) Michael, was the only one that responded so he's picking in September.

                        Jim, if you want Oct. I think it can be yours. I haven't seen Capt. much lately.

                        John

                        --- In modernsciencefiction2@yahoogroups.com, "William C. Garthright" <billg@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > > I have an alternative idea for picking the short stories. Would people be willing to buy the annual Dozois Best of SF anthology and read a story a week from it. Then no one would have the burden of picking the story.
                        >
                        >
                        > Personally, I like the way we're doing it now. It's free and it's easy
                        > (it's not actually a "burden" to pick the stories, you know).
                        >
                        > I've got enough books, especially short story collections, that I don't
                        > want to spend $15 on another one. And frankly, I've bought those "years
                        > best science fiction" collections by Gardner Dozois before and been
                        > terribly disappointed.
                        >
                        > Is there a problem with the way we're doing this now?
                        >
                        >
                        > > If people don't want to do the Dozois collection, I can take a turn picking the short fiction for a while.
                        >
                        >
                        > John has a list of who's supposed to pick the stories each month,
                        > already made out for the next year. He posted it at the beginning of
                        > March. But I don't know if everyone will be interested in participating.
                        >
                        > Let's see... September was supposed to be Susan M.'s turn, but I don't
                        > think I've seen her post anything before. Susan, are you still here? Are
                        > you planning to pick the stories this month?
                        >
                        > Bill
                        >
                        > http://garthright.blogspot.com/
                        >
                        > --
                        > The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid
                        > moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the
                        > possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing. -
                        > Gamal Abdel Nasser
                        >
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